The Controller-General, Nigeria Correctional Service (NCoS), Mr Ja’afaru Ahmed, says the service has successfully piloted the signing of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) Act 2019 by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Ahmed said this during his valedictory speech at the pulling out parade held on Thursday in Abuja.
He said that the act had ushered in a new vista of hope to address the lingering problem of overcrowding and other associated challenges. News Agency Of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Ja’afaru Ahmed bowed out of service on Jan. 21, after his tenure was extended by the presidency in 2019.
Ahmed recalled that his appointment was on May 17, 2016 by Buhari at a critical period of the service.
He said that the service was replete with decay in infrastructure, acute shortage of operational vehicles, low-capacity building and irregular promotion of personnel.
He said that the healthcare service was nothing to write home about as hospitals and clinics merely existed in buildings without relevant drugs.
“At the beginning, the journey was herculean and the burden intimidating but with determination and unwavering focus, I can say with every sense of fulfilment, the challenges have been significantly addressed.
“Significantly, I have successfully piloted the signing of the Nigerian Correctional Service Act, 2019 by the president. We equally embarked on massive procurement of drugs and rehabilitation of our hospitals and clinics to which you are all living witnesses.”
“My administration also initiated a total of 918 projects aimed at tackling the challenge of dearth of infrastructure including a 3,000 capacity ultra-modern custodial centres in each geo-political zone across the country.”
“Happily, 745 of the projects have been completed while 173 projects are at various stages of completion. Within this period, we have also been able to address the problem of logistics by procuring a total of 504 assorted operational vehicles to add to our fleet.”
“Within the period of my stewardship as the Controller General, I have promoted a total of 30,000 personnel, including many that were stagnated for more than 14 years, ” he said.
Ahmed cautioned that the dividend of this initiative would only manifest to the extent of the ability to leverage on the provisions of the act through deliberate” conscientisation and implementation of the new law”.
He advised that the officers should not rest on their oars but to expand the frontiers of seeking requisite knowledge and assistance where possible. Minister of Interior Rauf Aregbesola commended Ahmed for all the works he had done in office.
Aregbesola described Ahmed as one of those who made his job easier with his depth of knowledge, professionalism, dedication to duty and sense of patriotism, saying he was a great asset to the nation.
“He is going to be specially remembered for efficiently managing our custodial centres and other facilities during the pandemic such that we have yet to record a single case of infection or transmission of COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is by no means a mean feat. This is a scourge that even the developed world could not escape, ” he said.